Swallow Hall renovations complete, Laffere and Stewart still undergoing work

According to independent consultants, 40 percent of each of MU’s 41 buildings needs to be repaired.
Construction of Stewart Hall continues after starting earlier this year.

As a part of the Mizzou 2020 strategic plan, various buildings on campus are undergoing renovations or have recently reopened after the completion of construction.

Lafferre Hall and Stewart Hall are currently undergoing renovations. The university is planning the construction of the Applied Learning Center, a new building for the Trulaske College of Business. In May, renovations on Swallow Hall were completed.

The buildings were chosen because they have a Facility Condition Needs Index of over 0.40. This means that an independant consultant has determined that over 40 percent of a building needs to be repaired or replaced, Campus Facilities spokeswoman Karlan Seville said.

“We can renovate the building and improve safety and improve HVAC, electrical, bring it up to code to today’s standards, we can fix the ADA issues, and we can make the building useable for today’s students and faculties,” Seville said. “Swallow Hall is the perfect example because that building was built in 1893 and has had very little renovations whatsoever.”

Currently, there are 41 buildings at MU with a FCNI of 0.40 or greater. The university hopes to renovate or replace 10 buildings within this FCNI range by 2020, according to the June Mizzou 2020 strategic plan update.

While the university does fix day-to-day repairs, such as leaks and more pressing needs, their strategy is to pool its money to fix entire buildings, as opposed to scattering resources all over campus. Fixing every maintenance issue on campus is too costly, Seville said.

“We’re changing one whole building over so that instead of it having an FCNI of 0.75, it has an FCNI of 0; everything in it is fixed and basically new,” Seville said.

The renovations to Lafferre Hall and Stewart Hall, which have FCNIs of 0.91 and 0.50, respectively, include creating more lab space. Planning for renovations to McKee Hall, which would have including replacing the former women’s gymnasium, has been halted due to a lack of funding, Seville said.

Lafferre Hall will be completed in December and Stewart Hall construction, which began this summer, is scheduled for completion for the spring 2018 semester.

The Applied Learning Center, which is in the planning stages, will include “a trading floor, creativity lab, entrepreneur team collaborative space and storefront, and active-learning, technology and video conference teaching spaces,” according to the June Mizzou 2020 strategic plan update.

“The campus chooses [which buildings to renovate or replace] depending on the need at the time,” Seville said. “For example, with Stewart Hall we have a need for class lab space on campus, and that building can be renovated to increase the number of class labs and class lab stations."

Swallow Hall had a project cost of $16.9 million. The Lafferre Hall renovations are estimated to cost $44.6 million. The Stewart Hall renovations have an estimated cost of $18 million.

Swallow Hall, which had an FCNI of 0.54, now has a new 100-seat auditorium and over 8,300 square feet of new space.

Originally built in 1893, Swallow Hall has only undergone renovations once before, in 2000 when the witches’ hats atop the building’s towers were restored. Swallow Hall houses the anthropology, American archaeology and art history departments.

“Things have changed,” chairwoman and professor of anthropology Lisa Sattenspiel said. “The world is different from when this building was built, and it’s now a building that’s ready for the future.”

Swallow Hall’s most recent renovation began in May of 2014 and was completed this past May. During renovations of this scale, faculty must move out of the building.

“There was clearly some disruption, totally expected,” Sattenspiel said. “I don’t think [the displacement] was as bad as I feared, but it definitely had an impact, and we’re all much happier now that we’re back and we’re also happy because this is such a nice building and we missed it.”

Though the renovations at Swallow Hall have modernized it and created more space, the building has lost some of its charm, Sattenspiel said.

“It was sort of a funky old classic anthropology building,” Sattenspiel said. “Everybody loved the old building. We’re anthropologists, and anthropologists like old stuff and places with lots of character.”

Before the renovation, Swallow Hall had wood floors and woodwork around the doorframes.

“[The renovation] needed to be done, we all knew it needed to be done, and the university did it well,” Sattenspiel said. “The building has ended up being a place that we can all be happy with and proud of in spite of losing our creaky wood floors.”

Edited by Claire Mitzel | cmitzel@themaneater.com

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